The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Nations

"It is an offense to civilization to call those wretches islands civilized."
- Innarus Poel, Chaddamarian Priestess

Proper Name The Fire Isles
Ruler None
Population 316,000
Population Density 3 people per square kilometer
(7 people per square mile)
Demographics Human 97%, Other 3%
Adjectival/Demonym Island/Islanders
Languages Temegaru 99% Other 1%
Capital City None
National Colors No formal colors or standards
Year Founded No formal founding.
Currency Trade and barter
Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods Seafood, fish, sea shells, upine fruit, sandstone, quartz, pigs, bananas, pineapples, oranges, mangos, herbs, spices, kivodal, cork trees
Wealth Very Poor
Government Type Provincial (Tribal)
Government Stability Unstable.
Allies None
Enemies Aswanar Wildlands, Eshtari
Technology Level Primitive
Primary Religion Kano-tabai
Other Religions Vadalahaj
Climate Tropical
Total Land Area 113,000 square kilometers
(43,600 square miles)
Arable Land 15%
Terrain Tropical Islands, Jungle

Description

The Fire Isles refer to a group of volcanic tropical islands that litter the sea between Aggradar and Qeshir. They are the home of thirteen primitive human tribes of hunter/gatherers. These tribes constantly war with each other. Collectively, the various peoples of the Fire Isles are known as the alakubu and this term is used by scholars who discuss the Fire Isles. The Fire Isles are the source of vague legends, stories of cannibals. Rare spices and exotic plants and animals are brought from the isles to far corners of the world.

Geography

The Fire Isles are a string of volcanic islands. There are at least three dozen volcanoes in this string of islands. Many of them are active. The largest island of Akaliwai has a volcano which is very active  - a bubbling cauldron of lava which never quiets down. It erupts in spectacular pyrotechnic displays at least once a week. It's constantly glowing red top can be seen for over a hundred kilometers at night. It is used as a navigational beacon by most of the seafaring races in that region of the sea. This volcano, known as Mount Umbatwai  (which means "devil home" in the Alakubu language) is considered holy ground by the tribes and it is taboo to go there. This region receives heavy  rains and severe seasonal storms which beat the islands each spring and fall.

Notable Fauna and Flora

These shining emerald jewels are home to many tropical animals and plants found only here. No where else in all the wide is such a diverse spectrum of plant and animal life found in such a small area. Monkeys, wild boars, parrots, snakes, leopards, gorillas, komodo dragon lizards, wild dogs, scythe lizards, apes, tree slugs and much more are all found here. The local plant life includes oranges, mangos, bananas, pineapples, cloves, nuts, upine, figs and other citrus fruits. Both bamboo and upine tree grows in abundance on the eastern islands. A particularly hardy black berry grows in clusters in the rocky slopes of the mountains. A number of roots, tubers and herbs are found. Kivodal, pujaran, mallosh, tarska and other tropical herbs are all found here in abundance. Cork trees are common and is used by the natives and traded with other nations.

History

According to historical texts and maps, the Fire Isles did not exist prior to the Sundering or the cataclysmic World Storm the followed. In fact, the Fire Isles developed through violent volcanic activity beginning in the fourth century. They remained unknown to the world except to seafaring captains until the eleventh century. Begin around 1150 CY, contact with the local indigenous tribes was made. Seafaring captains began bringing back stories from the isles. Over the centuries, the legends and tales of the isles have become something of myth. Many people have heard tall tales of the islands, but few captains have sailed there.

Government

The Fire Isles is not a formal nation and has no central government. The Fire Isles is home to at least thirty different primitive tribes. The exact number is not known and no one has done a thorough study of their culture or tribal interaction.

Legal System

There is no national legal system. Within a single tribe, all laws are created and judged by the elders or chieftain. This varies from tribe to tribe somewhat. 

Military

As the Fire Isles is not a formal nation, there is no central government military force. However, each tribe can muster a force of fighting men equal to about 10% of the total size of the tribe.

Economy

Most tribes conduct basic trade and barter. This is true within a tribe and also between tribes. This system is supplemented by a primitive form of currency based on seashells. Different kinds of shells have different monetary values. Most tribes honor this currency.

There are a handful of ships that have regular runs between Aggradar and Qeshir and make frequent stops at the Fire Isles to trade with the natives. Of course, some tribes are more friendly than others.

Culture

The tribes of the Fire Isles share a common culture with some minor differences. The following is true of all tribes:

bullet Collectively, the various peoples of the Fire Isles are known as the Alakubu. An ancient term that can be applied to all tribes.
bullet The natives of the Fire Isles typically wrap their food in pytul leaves. The leaves are edible and serve as convenient wrappers for food. Typical meal involves meat and rice mashed and wrapped in leaves. These meals are often flavored with fruit pulp.
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The Fire Isle natives swap wives regularly. It is a common practice between chieftains, warriors and others. Visitors to the islands are expected to hand over their women, etc.

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The tribes use the byssus (black silky threads) of a variety of local giant oyster for all sewing needs. This black, glossy thread is very strong and is used in clothing, hammocks, tents, tools and fishing nets.

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Warriors of most tribes chew tarska - a native root which enhances strength and causes a kind of fevered, incoherent battle lust. Extensive use of this root stains the teeth, lips and chin red, giving the user a fiercesome "bloody" look.

Magic

Every tribe has at least one shaman and the larger  tribes may have a dozen or more. The shamans hold a position of great respect within alakubu culture. They are revered by warrior and chieftain alike.

The Tribes

The Fire Isles is home to thirteen major tribes and dozens of minor ones. The thirteen main tribes vary between 20,000 and 40,000 strong typically. The smaller tribes are usually splinter factions that split off from the tribe as part of a coup. Usually a charismatic warrior will lead his followers to form a new tribe. Although these new tribes are usually quite small, less than a thousand strong. Most tribes are ruled by a single powerful warrior chieftain or a council of tribal elders.

Tribe Name Chieftain Island Notes
Yamonari Choelath Akaliwai The Yamonari are the largest and most powerful tribe at over 70,000 strong. The Yamonari are cannibalistic. They eat prisoners and foreigners. They also eat their own kind under certain circumstances (to pay off a debt, natural death, lose a duel). A common saying among these people is "Better to be in the warm belly of a friend than the cold, cold ground". The Yamonari are a deeply spiritual people with a complex religion tied to the worship of Kano-Tabai, an "elder demon". This tribe is led by a Choelath who is both chieftain and tribal shaman. Choelath leads them in the worship of Kano-tabai, a near mythical being which is said to live on the island, in the heart of a great volcano. It is said that their flesh eating practice is to honor their demon god and that they bring their dark master blood and flesh and live prisoners to feast upon. The Yamonari are frequent users of the tarska root and they are particularly frenzied in battle.
Yomash Goamosh Halakii The largest tribe at almost 60,000 strong. Ruled by a council of 45 tribal elders which, in turn, serve the Grand Chieftain Goamosh.
Wira Gilakoth Tathai The Wira are concerned with honor and ritualistic warfare. They will fight an enemy until "first blood" is drawn and then withdraw. To them, a battle is done when first blood is drawn. The enemy must retreat. Visitors to their island may find their approach to battle odd.
Naed Jediba Soqwai The Naed worship animals and their warriors paint themselves in the likeness of apes or lions or boars. Each warrior adopts a spirit animal and wears his painted persona at all times.
Dirachi Iebus Waneki Known for shaving their heads (men and women) and wearing elaborate head dresses made from natural materials - fur, twine, twigs, leaves and feathers. The dirachi women are known for crafting bone and wood carvings and weave baskets and bake pottery.
Kuloth Kraiyor Halakii The Kuloth are a tribe of warriors and are considered the most warlike of all the tribes. The Kuloth practice cranial deformation on their children giving them high sloping foreheads by strapping and tightening boards to their heads. Warriors also will deform their face and body to give a frightening appearance. Many warriors chisel their teeth down to fine points. Some will surgically implants claws and horns carved from animal bone. Most will sharpen their finger nails. The fiercest warriors will drive bone carved horns and nails through their body and then let the wounds heal around the protruding spikes. This is done in combination with ritual scarring. They do this to intimidate their enemies and prove their bravery by ignoring pain. Also, infections due to these deformations help weed out the weak. It is easy to identify a kuloth warrior based on this "accessories". Kuloth warriors chew tarska and enter a frenzied state when going to battle. Some of the worst tarska addicts are absolutely insane in battle. Kuloth warriors, when they are berzerking, have been known to do shocking things in battle - a frenzied kuloth warrior will leap off a cliff or dive into a raging river to press the attack against his enemy. Kuloth warriors have been known to charge scythe lizards, impale themselves on enemy spears and generally leap into the fray against impossible odds. Warriors in such a state are beyond reason and mind affecting magic often fails against them.
Firatha Chenjan Soqwai The firatha are notable in that each village is entirely housed within a single "tribal hall". This immense structure houses all of the sleeping quarters for the entire village, the chieftain, his warriors, his subchieftains, etc. Storage rooms, stables and pantries are all stored within this one great hall. The great hall is built by everyone in the village.
Eohwan Oljhar Soqwai The most civilized. The only tribe to build semi-permanent buildings. This is the only tribe to have developed writing. The Eohwan do not use tarska and consider it taboo.
Onobawan Nao Mejah  
Edo Laos Akalwai Ruled by a shaman/witch doctor with considerable power. Enemy of the Yamonari. These two great tribes live on either side of Akaliwai, the largest island, and the interior of the island is the site of many battles.
Umire Chagon Jaebus The Umire inhabit the island of Jaebus which has a smoking volcano that often belches ash into the sky. The Umire cover their bodies in this volcanic ash. The volcano and is ash are holy to them. They believe the volcano is their god and that the ash protects them. Their shamans use it in protective spells. Whenever covered in the ash, their warriors will fight with fanatical bravery, believing themselves invincible. If, however, the ashis washed off, the warriors will flee.
Griatha Laos Imat This tribe lives close to the southwest. They serve the mage lord of the ash sea. The Griatha are good sailors and travel between their island and the main land a great deal. Many groups of Griatha live permanently on the mainland on the edge closest to Imat.
Asilir Relaus  Ith Smallest tribe, lost a tribal war to the Umire and was almost wiped out. Fled to the isle of Ith.

This website was last updated November 1, 2014. Copyright 1990-2014 David M. Roomes.

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